Chapter 44: I’ll Be Alright
The Crown Prince did not believe Rihannan and failed to delve into her thoughts, into her pain and suffering. He failed to look at her, really look at her. He failed to see that a house lived inside her. She had secrets locked inside her house; her house was big and beautiful but… inside that house is full of secret rooms and hiding places once filled with innocent laughter and joy that turned to one of despair.
Chuckling at what he thought was mere bragging, the Crown Prince said, “You can go now. I have nothing more to say.”
Rihannan bowed. “I’ll be on my way, Your Highness.” She turned around and walked towards the door, but suddenly stopped as she placed her hand on the door. “The Crown Prince’s downfall…”
The Crown Prince raised his head. “Hmm?”
“I tell you this now in advance for the chance that I may not return. I want to say my farewell to you, Your Highness, as a member of Crichton’s royal blood. May you live a long and prosperous life.”
The Crown Prince laughed. “Yes, in fact, I do not want to be buried in the hands of my dear blood relative. I mean it. And Dimitri resembles his father well and has talent in diplomacy. I hope your persuasion pays off. You’re worth more as Arundell’s queen than a pawn to be played.”
Rihannan smiled lightly and bowed her head. When she turned, her back facing him, the smile on her lips faded.
A year from now… within a year… all the bloody mess will unravel.
Leaving the Crown Prince’s bedroom quarter, Rihannan bit her lips hard.
Dozens of ships floated picturesquely on the calm, raging sea. The rough winds that sunk Chrichton’s ship disappeared without a trace. The weather was sunny and clear as Arundell’s ship docked on the port.
Unlike the picturesque scenery of the sea, the atmosphere at the port was stern and of high tension knowing that their own ship could arrive at any moment and dye the sea with its own blood.
And… today was their last day to answer to the king of Arundell’s demands. If anything turns to the unexpected, the port will immediately become a battlefield.
And so the Chrichton natives waited for the envoy from the palace to arrive. They prayed dearly for the envoy’s safe arrival.
Meanwhile, a group arrived at the harbor. There was a carriage bearing Chrichton’s royal seal and the king’s personal guard escorting both sides.
General Chris, in charge of the port’s maintenance and peace immediately rushed out towards them. The carriage slowly came to a stop and the door opened. A woman stepped foot off the carriage. She wore an expensive overcoat and high-quality leather gloves. General Chris assumes the woman was of noble status… that and the carriage bearing the royal seal signified her great importance.
The general paid his respects. “Welcome. Thank you for coming.”
Rihannan looked at the general calmly as she was greeted by him and the nearby soldiers.
“Are you General Chris?”
“Yes, m’lady. What is your name and status?”
“My name is Rihannan Alessin. My uncle is Prince Preibius, a relative of the royal family. I’m here to meet Arundell’s king under the orders from the Crown Prince.”
“You came to see the King of Arundell?” Surprised, the general asked. He thought a chieftain’d see and negotiate with Arundell’s king or to deliver the king’s letter. He did not expect a young noblewoman to be the one placed in charge.
“Here is everything in the details. Please deliver this to King Igor.”
The letter was sealed with two lions facing each other, an undeniable proof of the Crown Prince’s command.
“As you wish, Lady Rihannan. Please wait inside for a moment for the other party’s reply.”
The general immediately delivered the letter to the soldier in charge of communication. Meanwhile, Rihannan was guided to a VIP room. On the way to, her gaze landed briefly to the ship docked on the port. Somewhere on that ship was Igor.
Recalling the horrid memories of the past, terror briefly invaded her mind. In front of the Crown Prince, she bravely said she had overcome her fear, but it was not true. She was afraid of him, afraid of Igor. She did not want to die in a cold place filled with loneliness similar to the past. At least she hoped for a peaceful rest with warm farewells from her loved ones.
Was it too much to ask for?
Was it alright to ask for happiness?
“My Lady, are you all right? Is there any inconvenience?” Looking at Rihannan’s pale face, the soldier asked worriedly.
Rihannan breathed deeply.
No, there is nothing to be afraid of. That man on that ship was different from the man from his past life. In this present life, he had never done any harm to her. She need not be afraid.
“I’m alright.” Rihannan smiled.
Soon, the two arrived at the VIP room.